Digital Post loses key backer

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Digital Post loses key backer

Former Salmat division drops out of Digital Post partnership.

Salmat’s former business process outsourcing (BPO) division has sold its stake in emerging digital mail business Digital Post Australia, ending a nine-month joint venture partnership.

The outsourcer, now operating as Fuji Xerox Document Management Solutions (FX DMS), sold its 40 percent stake in Digital Post to share registry Computershare on Monday.

Computershare now owns 80 percent of Digital Post Australia, with US technology vendor Zumbox holding the remaining 20 percent.

During the past year, Digital Post has been racing government-owned Australia Post for what Morgan Stanley analysts expect to be a $138 million market for secure, online mail.

Digital Post chief executive officer Randy Dean previously boasted that Computershare and Salmat BPO clients represented a total of 70 percent of physical mail going through Australia Post.

He said the service would be presented as an additional, integrated offering to those clients, allowing them to communicate with their customers at 30 percent of the cost of physical mail.

A FX DMS spokeswoman said today that the company had always had a “channel-agnostic business model” and did not intend to replace its Digital Post partnership with an Australia Post deal.

“We will be actively promoting all channels of communication,” she said, noting that the strategy included Digital Post and Australia Post’s Digital Mailbox service.

“As result of the transaction FX DMS will maintain its independent position, providing customers with the broadest suite of multi-channel services to address the full range of consumer preferences.”

Digital Post’s Dean described this week’s change in ownership as “the culmination of the Fuji Xerox acquisition of Salmat’s BPO business”.

“From an operational perspective, nothing has changed,” he said. “FujiXerox remains highly supportive of the DPA channel and is committed to promoting the Digital Postbox with its customers.”

The Digital Post service initially will be housed on 30 dedicated servers and several terabytes of data storage in two Macquarie Telecom data centres in Sydney.

Digital Post kicked off a public trial last month, following a private testing phase that began on August 20. It plans to launch the service in February 2013.

Australia Post launched its Digital MailBox service on October 30 to meet a previously announced launch date but pulled the registration page offline within days due to technical issues.

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